Question on caliber....

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by The Oregonian, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. The Oregonian

    The Oregonian Well-Known Member

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    I think I know the answer, but let me ask for the collective wisdom here to speak up.

    I have a custom rifle on order but have several months before specs have to be finalized. I have been going back and forth on caliber in my mind, but I til I have been debating the wrong two calibers.

    I want a general purpose gun for deer, elk (hopefully one day), etc. I was going between 280AI and 280. But given that I don't reload and don't expect to take a shot over 400-500 yds, if that, I am thinking a 30-06 may be better.

    Ammo is everywhere, bullet selection in ammo is huge, and the ability to shoot a 200gr bullet probably helps for the dream elk trip I hope to take. Sure, the 280 shoots flatter and has better BC, but if I don't reload there is a lot less to choose from.

    What sayeth the hive?
     
  2. varmintH8R

    varmintH8R Well-Known Member

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    30-06. Not very sexy. Not very unique. Practical as hell for the reasons you mention and quite a track record for dropping all sorts of game in North America and everywhere else.

    I guess what I'm saying is: go 280AI and start reloading:D

    30-06 will get it done for sure.
     

  3. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    I own rifles in everything from .17 to .45 caliber. And something about the 7mm calibers have always intrigued me. I am a huge 7mm nut. So, my vote would be .280 AI.

    You could get the .280 AI, and spend about $700 on an RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme / Chargemaster 1500 starter kit, and be loading for the .280 AI, then slowly start loading for other calibers one at a time...

    That's what I'd do if I were in your predicament. Especially since you KNOW it will be mainly a deer rifle, but possibly one day go elk hunting.

    You could always have the recoil lug pinned, turn it into a switch-barrel and while it is at the Smith's have him cut you a .30-06 AI barrel and have both headspaced properly, so one day if you go elk hunting you can spend 30 mins swapping from a .280 AI to a .30-06 AI and they will both be headspaced properly if you torque them to the smith's specs.

    That's what I'm doing for my current build. Just got my used Sendero .25-06 barrel in today, and gonna have it reamed to .25-06 AI, and also gonna get me a .280 AI barrel and have them both headspaced to the same action and have my lug pinned.

    For elk you could always have a .338-06 AI barrel cut....I would imagine that would be a pretty nasty elk caliber for out to around 500-650 or so.
     
  4. angus-5024

    angus-5024 Well-Known Member

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    save the money from the custom and buy some reloading stuff. Then you can get whatever you want.
    I would go bigger too.
     
  5. mtnwrunner

    mtnwrunner Well-Known Member

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  6. marioq

    marioq Well-Known Member

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    Or why not go 300 mag??? Same selection of bulkets in 06 but have more velocity and could reach out if you wanted. Then, if you want to reload, you still could one day.
     
  7. The Oregonian

    The Oregonian Well-Known Member

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    Reloading, with 2 young kids and a full slate of hobbies, will be tough. I could do it, but something else would have to go.

    In a perfect world, I would get a 280AI and reload....but I don't live in one. So factory it is for now. I can always get it rebarreled down the road for not much expense....
     
  8. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    i like 30-06. what barrel?? what action?? the gun is more important than the caliber/cartridge.
     
  9. The Oregonian

    The Oregonian Well-Known Member

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    Custom by Darrell Holland on his action.

    Holland's Guns
     
  10. Rimfire

    Rimfire Well-Known Member

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    "Based on the above criteria, go with an 06. You just simply cannot go wrong and it will do EVERYTHING you want it to do."

    Randy


    Throw in target shooting also and I would go 308 Win. About equal with a lot of great ammo.
     
  11. varmintH8R

    varmintH8R Well-Known Member

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    You need to start looking at your kids as labor instead of responsibilities! My 3 and 5 year olds think brass prep is play time. I told my wife to prepare for twins so I can start shooting 3-gun in a few years.

    In all seriousness, I think you are smart to make a caliber choice based on factory ammo choices if you are not a reloader. However, if you have a passion for shooting (ie a custom rifle on order) I would urge you to dip a toe in the water for reloading. You do NOT have to go nuts on the front end, and it really is a rewarding process if you like to shoot.

    Good luck, and please post monster elk pics when you drop one!
     
  12. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    I don't think you can go wrong with the 06 given your range and game. Considering that you are having a fine custom made, including elk in your list, and talking 500 yards, you might consider the 300WM or 7mmRem. Life is long and if you some day decided to stretch your range, I think the advantage over the 06 would be noticeable. Factory ammo is also available, and with a muzzle brake you wouldn't see the difference in recoil, if that was a consideration. IMHO.
     
  13. clemens

    clemens Well-Known Member

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    If you decide to reload and .06 still your choice you can jump over to the sniper hide under general rifle discussion there is a thread about .06 debate. These grants are using slow burning powder to push the heavies out if the .06. (200,210,215,220gr) with success. Just a thought , the .06 can and will get it done. Good luck
     
  14. clemens

    clemens Well-Known Member

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    Gents. Need to type with phone turned sideways. Bad spelling sorry.